Not only was it the annual occasion for ladies to build friendships, encourage, laugh and cry together as we refocused on God and each other, but it was also the 20th anniversary of this marked occasion being held. As such, a theme for the weekend was chosen that could seem simple on the surface but complex upon examination and application: joy. As the weekend progressed, we had a plethora of experiences together to encourage the reflection of joy in our lives in the past, the creation of it each day of the weekend, and the mindset of it for us to apply moving forward.
The first night was full of icebreakers and a game to help center our focus. We passed out stickers to others to acknowledge and represent each moment of joy we felt as we worshipped and engaged with one another throughout the weekend. There were a lot of stickers passed around!
For services, we were privileged to hear a guest speaker from Cincinnati, Matthew Fenchel. His message, “A Journey of Joy,” reminded us to focus not only on the destination, but the journey we take to get there, for “the journey needs to transform us, and in it there is every opportunity for joy.”
After the sermon, we shared a meal and marked the anniversary weekend with the special event of English tea, properly done with the help of LeeAnn Luker. Lisa Fenchel followed with her own personal journey with joy. In both sadness and grief, joy is a choice that we can make. It is not a feeling that comes and goes, but rather the attitude we choose regardless of our circumstances, as we remember that God is our ultimate choice and all joy comes from that.
Saturday closed with wine, cheese and reflection on the messages heard with the good company around us. Sunday arrived and the final activity was no less significant than the others. Equipped with questions to guide our conversation, we broke down our walls and shared our experiences, ending our time together with the edification of one another.
Though short, the weekend was not lacking in memorable moments and profound teachings. A big “thank you” goes to all the women who participated in making the weekend one not easily forgotten. It was truly an experience to remember.